Master Pickle Recipe?

Hi - I have developed a pickle obsession after I had a chopped salad in a restaurant and the salad featured julienned pickled vegetables. I fell in love and want to make my own. I’ve done a refrigerator pickle and it’s ok. Then I tried Michael Symon’s master pickle recipe and it was awful - really awful. One of the things I want to make is round slices to put on sandwiches and burgers. The ones I get, even at the farmer’s market, are too thick. Is there a master pickling recipe out there that is good? I see lots of recipes but am looking for ones that are tried and true!

Well… there are a zillion pickle recipes out there & a lot of ways to make pickles. I usually recommend the Ball Blue Book for beginners. There are several dill pickle recipes in it and they are all tried & true. You can find it at any book store/canning supply or on Amazon. It’s like $7. Everyone’s tastes differ so once you try a recipe or two & get the basics you can change the flavorings to suit your taste. The most important thing in any pickle recipe is FRESH cucumbers. They should be firm & crisp. Give them a little twist. If the flex they’re not fresh.

There is aold post on CH you can dig for . Pretty extensive recipe that looked great . A lot of posts for this master pickle recipe . Don’t remember the heading .

Thanks both. I will check out that book and take a look at CH.

Just as a hint to get you started, there are vinegar pickles (which I think Michael Symon’s recipe follows) which are pretty quick. Then there are fermented pickles using salt and time to develop flavors, but with exciting possibilities for failure if sanitation rules aren’t followed. It may be the latter you want. There is a long thread on Chowhound about fermenting pickles ( as well as a number of books–Sandor Katz’s Art of Fermentation ( and the Shockeys’ Fermented Vegetables ( come to mind.

Susan posted the topic as was talking about on CH. : finally real honest hashem method … Check that one out .

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That thread is epic. I’ve had it bookmarked for years

I’m not sure what I want - I don’t have the equipment for the fermented I don’ t think, but I’ll check it out. Thanks!

AHA - thank you . I remember that thread. I’ll do a search for it.

all you need for fermented is a large jar – it can be plastic, glass, or glazed crockery. That’s what’s so cool about it – no special anything needed.

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Actually, the jar doesn’t even need to be all that large. You can do lacto-fermention in pint jars as well as quart jars.

I thought you needed special jars and they needed to be sterilized. Good to know!

I know you said you wanted to make your own, but in case you are open to store-bought alternatives, I recommend the Belveder brand. Ocean State Job Lot sells a 33oz jar for $2, which is less than I’d pay for the ingredients. There are a few versions. One is “Polish family salad”. I don’t recall the other names but they are all similar. One includes pickles in with the shredded cabbage, onion, carrot, etc,; another one doesn’t have pickles, but does have bell pepper. It’s a simple vinegary brine. I like it as is, but I’ve also drained it, then mixed in some mayo as a change from regular tartar sauce.

Thanks greygarious. I did a new one yesterday. Used the quick sweet pickle recipe but added garlic and peppercorns. I’m getting there!

I never sterilize my jars, and I’m still alive. If a non-sterile jar eventually kills me, I’ll come back and amend this post. If you decide to try the method in that super-long Chowhound post, lay a flowering dill head over top. I grow both dill and cucumbers, but sometimes the dill gets ahead of the cukes, so I save the flower heads in a zip loc in the freezer.

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You have to sterilize jars for storage. If you tried to ferment in a sterile environment it wouldn’t work because the bacteria which do the fermenting would be absent. No bacteria/no fermentation.

I used to make large batches of pickles using boiling vinegar/sugar brine poured over cukes and other vegetables that had been stuffed into sterilized glass jars. Sometimes they were canning jars, sometimes not, though always with metal lids. There was no processing afterward, yet they kept well at room temp for months, even years (though they got softer as time went by). Sometimes, if I was using proper canning jars, as the brine cooled in the jars, the lids pinged to indicate a vacuum.
I no longer go to the trouble, since I realized I like refrigerator pickles made with cold vinegar just as well.

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Sterilization yes, or you have a lot of science experiments that won’t be pretty.

I at least rinse my jar with boiling water – I want to make sure that I give the beneficial critters as clean a playing field as I can.

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